Sunday, June 26

Zinedine Zidane admits he is ‘not proud’ of Marco Materazzi headbutt

French legend Zinedine Zidane has admitted he is ‘not proud’ of his headbutt on Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.

The match was the last of Zidane’s entire career and it saw both highs and lows. The Frenchman netted a Panenka penalty just seven minutes into the game but was sent off with ten minutes remaining of extra-time for the famous clash with Materazzi. Italy would end up winning the final following a penalty shootout.

Speaking to Telefoot, Zidane recalled the incident and admitted he completely snapped.

“I’m not at all proud of what I did, but it’s part of my journey,” he said. “In life, not everything is done perfectly.

“The only one who could have contained me that evening was [Bixente] Lizarazu. It would have been massive to have him by my side, but you can’t rewrite the past.

“There are always difficult moments in football and this was one of them.”

Zidane also explained his decision to Panenka goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon just seven minutes into perhaps the biggest match in football.

“It was the start of the match and I thought there would still be enough time [if something went wrong],” he continued. “I only had a second or two to think about how to take it.

“In front of me, I had a goalkeeper who knew me really well, so I had to think of something. It was tactical, I don’t think it was a moment of madness. You can miss a penalty, but in that moment, it is what I had to do.”

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